Dr. Wysong's Blog -
In Washington D.C., nearly half of all black and Latino students drop out. Of those who graduate, nearly half are reading and doing math at seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade levels. In D.C.—the seat of national government, a place that should be the crown jewel of government in action—academic achievement ranks 51st, last in the U.S.
The failure of public education does not end there. Some 200 students in their first math class at City University of New York (CUNY) were tested on basic math skills. Ninety percent could not do basic algebra. One-third could not convert a decimal into a fraction. These are the results of the highest tax rate in the nation.
City colleges were once municipal jewels. They nourished an intellectual elite from the ethnic groups that immigrated before 1924. The limousine liberals knew better. Now we have college graduates who can barely read, speak, or add.
Scholastic Aptitude Test scores peaked around 1964. The national average since has been in a descent that parallels the fixes: increasing teacher salaries, more education tax dollars, more teacher tenure, and the liberal insanity of trying to be sure everybody is a winner.
The decline in performance and the racial gaps continue even after the SAT folks retooled the test to create higher scores for failing performance. This campaign to equalize test scores among unequal students is utopian and fatuous. No two people are of equal skill in anything. Winners and losers is reality. Trying to educate students otherwise creates graduates who go into the world not understanding what is even real and having no real incentive to excel.
Dan Boorstin wrote: "In the university, all men are not equal. Those better endowed or better equipped intellectually must be preferred in admission, and preferred in recognition. ... If we give in to the ... demands of militants to admit persons to the university because of their race, their poverty, their illiteracy or any other nonintellectual distinction, our universities can no longer serve all of us or any of us."
Why is this happening? As usual, follow the money. Look for who is getting the jobs, the TV appearances, the consulting contracts, the book deals, the grants, the titles, the limo drivers. There is a transfer of wealth and power in this country from those who earn and produce it, to those who produce little or nothing: politicians, administrators, and bureaucrats. These are the folks who then set educational policy.
The solution is easy and obvious: Reward based upon performance. This should be applied to both teachers and students. Getting what you deserve is a basic reality of life that every individual should be forced to face.
Additionally, aside from the three Rs, no student should be able to graduate from college without having taken and passed (really) at least one course in high school or college in each of the following: homemaking/shop/living skills (for crying out loud, people should be able to drive a nail, tie knots, sew a button on, change a light bulb or tire, prepare a meal, balance a check book, etc.), philosophy, world religions, economics, government (including a significant section of study on the Constitution), history, a primer in the sciences of biology, chemistry, and physics, computer skills, and nutrition/holistic health.
Courses and texts should be redesigned so that no onerous and boring details are forced upon students or demanded on tests. Once a person decides upon a trade, then they can learn the necessary specifics. The important takeaway essence and principles should be taught in these core subjects by teachers who understand the difference between important, and useless quickly forgotten minutia. To get such people—teachers who understand true education as opposed to mental calisthenics—selection should be from those who have actually lived, worked, and succeeded in the productive world. No one should be allowed to be a teacher in these life lesson classes if they have not done anything but be a student themselves, or are failed dropouts from the real world.
A proper education should produce citizens who understand the realities of life and value a meritocracy. As it is, we are churning out mere methane producers sucking on the teat of a nanny state, thinking equality means equal results, and that they can vote themselves into prosperity and happiness, i.e., bread and circuses.
Read more about intelligent education in Living Life As If Thinking Matters.
Thinking Word — fatuous - \fat·u·ous\ Click for pronunciation -adjective: Foolish or silly, especially in a smug or self-satisfied way.
College senior worksheet -